Gastronomic festivals in Sardinia
The great variety of food products starting from fine wines up to the special and delicious desserts allows each year the creation of food and wine reviews from the North to the South of the island that are highly appreciated and visited by tourists Worldwide. The festivals in Sardinia, as well as allowing the tasting of traditional food and wine specialties of the Sardinian cuisine, are a unique event to rediscover hidden and little known places. Now let’s find out month by month which are the most important gastronomic festivals on the island.
Festivals in January/February
Among the festivals of Sardinia every year it is organized in the small town of Riola Sardo, in the province of Oristano the Oil and Olive Festival. The festival in question is among the most important events in the area of Oristano and attracts thousands of visitors each year ready to taste the product in its various forms: from oil accompanied by carasau (typical Sardinian bread), to pickled olives, to bruschettas and many other delicacies. The whole event is accompanied by the presence of stands with various other food and wine products and handicrafts typical of the country and the dances and songs that will animate the party. February is the month of Carnival and in this period we can participate in the small and charming town of Narbolia, located always in the heart of the Oristano, at the Zippola Festival, during which the zippole (or zeppole or zipole) are offers to tourists and visitors. The zippole are the pancakes, the typical dessert of the Carnival. Through the streets of the country it will be possible to find various stands, inside which frying the typical dessert takes place, following the typical and ancient recipes not only of Narbolia but also of other Sardinian countries. Even in this case the festival ends with a folkloristic show of dances and songs in the square, which will animate the country until late at night.
Festivals in March/April
Let’s start immediately with the renowned Sagra de Lu Bogamarì or the Sea Urchin that takes place in Alghero throughout the month of March in conjunction with the appropriate weather conditions. The Bogamaris, the Catalan name of the sea urchin, are an absolute delicacy and their pulp varies from orange to deep red. The sea urchin of Alghero is specifically considered one of the most delicious in the Mediterranean as it feeds on posidonia, a very abundant seaweed in the Sardinian coastal area. The festival takes place in the spaces of the fish market in Alghero, in the port area of Alghero, but it will be possible to enjoy various dishes based on sea urchins in the various restaurants in the town where chefs will give free rein to their imagination, pledging to win the award Il Riccio d’Oro. The festival is also an opportunity to admire the beautiful town of the Coral Coast, which even in winter offers breathtaking views. Two other important events taking place in two villages around Alghero are the artichoke festival of Uri and Prendas of Ittiri. Both countries are important agricultural centers of Nurra, an area of northern Sardinia. The artichoke festival, now recognized with the DOP mark by the European Community, attracts thousands of visitors each year ready to savor numerous dishes based on artichokes, made with traditional and innovative recipes, all accompanied by craft shows and folklore shows that will animate the evenings. Important is also the event Prendas di Ittiri, an important showcase dedicated to the agri-food and crafts. Exhibitors will have their own space in which they can exhibit and sell their products, from honey, oil, cheese, desserts, wines, cold cuts, bread and vegetables. Among the handicraft products, you can browse and buy knives, wooden artifacts, etc. In the main square of the village will be set up catering in the square, with the opportunity to taste dishes based on local products. In the center of the island, on Easter Monday it will be possible to attend another festival that every year attracts tourists from all over the world: the Tonara nougat festival, a small town in the province of Nuoro. This event is one of the most typical festivals in Sardinia, dedicated to a genuine and unique product that can be tasted in the streets of this characteristic village of Barbagia. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and honey, without the use of additives, dyes or preservatives … these are the genuine ingredients at the base of the ancient recipe for the preparation of nougat that is handed down from generation to generation.
Arriving instead in southern Sardinia we will have another important agro-food event, the citrus festival of Muravera, a municipality in the province of Cagliari. The entire area of Sarrabus, and in particular the municipality of Muravera, are famous for the production of mandarins and citrus fruits in general, and the festival is an important showcase for all local producers, as well as one of the most anticipated events in Sardinia during the spring that brings millions of visitors. In addition to tasting local citrus fruits, the main attraction of the festival is the great parade of traccas, or wagons that faithfully reproduce moments of everyday life in the agropastoral world.
Festivals in May/June
In the north of Sardinia at the beginning of summer, in the month of May we have two important events, attractions for many tourists: the Olbia mussel festival and the Bonnanaro cherry fair. Every year on the occasion of the celebrations for San Simplicio, celebrated around May 15, in the coastal town of Olbia is organized the Festival of Mussels, one of the most famous seafood products of the area. During the festival it will be possible to taste and buy mussels in quantity, prepared according to the recipes of the area and at the same time you can take advantage to visit the splendid east coast of Sardinia. At the time of the holiday of 2 June, instead, downstream of the Mountain Arana, in the small town of Bonnanaro, the Fair of the Cherries, an important exhibition dedicated to the delicious red fruit. Among the peculiarities of the Bonnanaro cherries is that they are not treated with plant protection products: the trees are in fact protected from parasites by means of special cages. Along the streets of the village you can find exhibitors where you can buy cherries and products, along with many other typical island products. Moving to the center of the island, precisely in Atzara, a small town in the province of Nuoro in the territory of Mandrolisai, area renowned for the production of DOC wines, takes place just the Wine Festival that attracts many visitors who reach the area to taste the products of the cellars and actively participate in the shows in the square, the craft shows and local products. The wines produced in the area find life easy thanks to the particular geographical and climatic conditions of the area, characterized by hills warmed by the sun and medium-high temperatures for long periods, ideal for perfect ripening of the grapes. Finally arriving to the south of the island we have the Girotonno of Carloforte, an event dedicated to tuna that takes place annually in the beautiful Island of San Pietro, an island in south-west Sardinia with enviable natural beauties. For the occasion, various experts in the field, chefs, journalists and enthusiasts flock to the island to take part in this important event during which it is possible to attend exhibitions, conferences and tastings of tuna-based dishes. The Girotonno is also the ideal opportunity to visit the old tuna tunnels of Carloforte, as well as the Civic Museum of the House of the Duke of Carloforte, and to attend the ancient tuna slaughter thanks to the boats made available to tourists.
Festival in July/August
Sardinia is renowned for its artisanal production of pasta. During the summer months indeed we can attend two events that enhance the production of two types of pasta typical of Sardinia, the festival of gnocchetti galluresi and the festival of culurgiones. In the Gallura village of Aglientu (OT) the Gnocchetti of Gallura Festival is held every year, an interesting gastronomic festival at the base of which we have the recipe of the gnocchetti, prepared by hand and served with the pulpedda sauce, or a delicious pork sauce. In the center of Sardinia instead, precisely in Tortolì in the province of Nuoro you can attend the Sagra dei Culurgiones, a dish with a long tradition agro-pastoral of Ogliastra based on potatoes, pecorino, eggs, mint and garlic and a wise closure of the pasta with a form of very particular spike, all made by hand. Also in the north of Sardinia, in the territory of Nurra, there is a long-awaited event or the Palmadula piglet festival, during which you will have the opportunity to taste one of the symbolic dishes of the entire region, the porceddu. The festival is characterized by the preparation in the main square of the country of many spits in which they will be roasted, in the traditional way, hundreds of pigs. Finally, even in August we have two events that call attention to the delicious Sardinian wine and myrtle, or Goblets of stars and the myrtle festival of Telti. According to the area, Sardinia offers excellent labels such as Vermentino di Gallura DOCG or Cannonau di Sardegna DOC. It will be during the course of the event Goblets under the stars, active throughout northern Sardinia, which will be possible to taste such wines accompanied by breathtaking views seen under a different light. Not to be missed is the Myrtle Festival which takes place in Telti, where it will be possible to taste the flavor of true myrtle, a liquor now famous all over the world obtained from the berries of Myrtus comunis, very present throughout the island.
Festivals in September/October
The enogastronomic events that animate the autumn period on the island are numerous, but among the main ones we remember the Su Succu festival and the Chestnut Festival. In the heart of Sardinia, in Busachi, every year there is the sagra de su succu, a typical dish of the country with archaic origins and in fact unknown. At one time this dish was prepared only for the holidays, because of the long preparation time even if basic has only simple and genuine ingredients. They are noodles prepared simply with semolina, eggs, salt and water. They are then put to boil together with the meat of sheep and beef, in which stock is melted the yellow gold of Sardinia: saffron. Finally, it is still warmed up with plenty of cheese. At the festival, the women get up at dawn to start the preparation of this suggestive and tasty dish. Moving to the east, always in the center of Sardinia, we arrive at Aritzo where in October we start the chestnut festival, a very delicious product. During the event the roast chestnuts and new wine are offered for tasting and you can find stands with all the typical products of the mountain starting from the fruits of the forest, to mushrooms and getting to all those typical local products, packaged according to the artisanal method, as various sausages and cold cuts, sweets, jams.
Festivals in November/December
Near Alghero, in a small town called Putifigari annually takes place in November the Porcino and Porcetto festival, where two of the most appreciated Sardinian specialties are presented throughout Italy and beyond. Porcini mushrooms are a specialty of Sardinia and on the occasion of this fair they can be tasted in various ways, accompanied by other typical products of the region. And to conclude, it is good to mention the famous Saffron Festival of San Gavino Monreale. During the event it will be possible to savor wonderful saffron dishes and listen to the stories of the direct producers of this red jewel of Sardinian and Italian cuisine. Like any other festival, even here you can taste all the other typical foods of the region and you can attend folk events that will liven up the evenings.